Why You Should Set Goals this Year

Yay! It’s the start of a new year. In fact, it’s the start of a new decade. It’s the perfect time to set goals that lead you closer to achieving your dreams. When I hear people say that they don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I interpret to mean they probably won’t set goals and I feel sad. 

A new year, a new decade, a new beginning. What better time to visualize who you want to become and create a plan to get you there? You really should set goals.

I get it. Life is a journey. We all have free will. Sometimes, we may even not care where we’re going. We just “go with the flow.” Letting go is a great way to relieve stress and be open to new experiences.

But, when it comes to hopes and dreams, I don’t believe we should leave those to chance. Goal achievement starts with a positive outlook and willingness to stretch beyond your comfort zone. However, if you want your goals to become inevitable, then you really need to define what your goals looks like and how you will achieve them.

A Goal is Not a One-Liner

The big mistake with New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting is to stop at one-liners like “I want to lose 15 pounds” or “I want to get a better job.” To be honest, those 2 statements are not really goals, they’re desires. Anything that starts with “I want…” is not a goal.

What is a goal? A goal begins with a clearly defined outcome. We’ve all heard “Begin with the End in Mind,” one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of effective people. 

Take the desire to lose 15 pounds. If you want to lose 15 pounds, visualize and write down what your life will be like when you are 15 pounds lighter. With that vision clear in your mind, write down the answers to questions like: What new clothes will I wear? Where will I celebrate? 

The same with that new job. Create a vision for: What will I be doing at work? What will the workplace be like? What cool, new people will I work with? What will my salary and bonus be? 

Once you have a clear vision for each goal, start to answer the “How” questions: How can I accomplish my weight loss goal? How can I get a new job? Brainstorm all activities that you think could lead you closer to achieving your goal. 

You get the idea. The more clearly you define the goal, the easier it is to visualize attainment and the path to achievement.

Create a Roadmap

Organize your list of “How” activities into a roadmap. This roadmap becomes your path to achievement.

For example, to lose 15 pounds, your roadmap could include: join a gym and actually workout 2-3 times each week, walk at lunch, stop eating refined sugar. You get the idea. If you want a new job, your roadmap could include: write a resume for the employee that already works at your new job, get coaching, buy a new interview outfit. 

Be sure that your roadmap is something you can commit to.
Keep track of how you’re doing.
Celebrate wins along the way to keep yourself motivated.

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When you set achievable goals, you have a better chance of getting what you want.

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